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DIY Home Project: Board and Batten Entryway Wall Update

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My writing interests are general, with expertise in science, history, biographies, and “how-to” topics. I have written over sixty books.

Our completed board and batten update to the entryway.

Our completed board and batten update to the entryway.

My wife and I decided to spruce up the entry way into our home. She deserves the bulk of the credit for the project and did much of the work. I helped when needed. We chose the board and batten style update for our entry way. Simply put, the update consists of adding vertical slats, a horizontal board, and a top rail to give it some depth and character. This was a weekend project.

This is our receipt from Home Depot. The total was $66.48. We also had to buy a $2 tube of paintable caulk.

This is our receipt from Home Depot. The total was $66.48. We also had to buy a $2 tube of paintable caulk.

Materials

  • (3) 7-foot-long 1" x 3" boards (for vertical slats)
  • (2) 8-foot-long 1" x 4" boards (for horizontal rail)
  • (2) 8-foot-long 1/2" x 1" boards (top rails)
  • box of 1 1/4" finish nails
  • interior paint
  • carpenters glue
  • paintable caulk
  • Medium-density fibreboard (It's easy to work with and is perfect for trim work. It doesn't appear to be as strong as wood, but it is primed white and perfect for this project.)
Here are the tools used for the project.

Here are the tools used for the project.

Tools

The tools required for this project are common and inexpensive. No power tools required.

  • hammer
  • painting supplies
  • miter box and saw
  • tape measure
  • level
  • caulk gun
  • stud finder
  • level
  • countersink punch
First step: Entryway area after it has been painted white and the height of the horizontal board has been measured. Also, at this point, we used a stud finder to locate the studs and marked the locations.

First step: Entryway area after it has been painted white and the height of the horizontal board has been measured. Also, at this point, we used a stud finder to locate the studs and marked the locations.

Installing the horizontal top board. We nailed the horizontal boards (1" x 4") to the wall studs to make sure they were secure.

Installing the horizontal top board. We nailed the horizontal boards (1" x 4") to the wall studs to make sure they were secure.

Cutting the boards to length using a cheap miter box and saw. I clamped the miter box to my work bench to keep it from slipping while we cut the boards.

Cutting the boards to length using a cheap miter box and saw. I clamped the miter box to my work bench to keep it from slipping while we cut the boards.

Gluing the top molding board (1/2" x 1") on the horizontal top board. We used flathead nails (a mistake, see below) to secure the top rail to the horizontal rail and to allow the carpenters glue to adhere.

Gluing the top molding board (1/2" x 1") on the horizontal top board. We used flathead nails (a mistake, see below) to secure the top rail to the horizontal rail and to allow the carpenters glue to adhere.

Putting a starter nail in the top rail board to make it easier to install. It was easier to start the nail on the counter rather than on the horizontal top rail.

Putting a starter nail in the top rail board to make it easier to install. It was easier to start the nail on the counter rather than on the horizontal top rail.

Horizontal board and top rail board install in corner. Note the 45° cuts required for the top rail board. These cuts are easily done with a miter box.

Horizontal board and top rail board install in corner. Note the 45° cuts required for the top rail board. These cuts are easily done with a miter box.

Installation of a vertical slat (1" x 3"). Note how the bottom of the slat is cut at a 45° angle to give nice transition to the bottom baseboard that already existed.

Installation of a vertical slat (1" x 3"). Note how the bottom of the slat is cut at a 45° angle to give nice transition to the bottom baseboard that already existed.

Using a countersink punch to the nails in the vertical slats. All the nails had to be countersunk into the wood so they could be painted over, thus making the final product smooth.

Using a countersink punch to the nails in the vertical slats. All the nails had to be countersunk into the wood so they could be painted over, thus making the final product smooth.

The caulk used. Note this is the type of caulk you can paint over, which is very important.

The caulk used. Note this is the type of caulk you can paint over, which is very important.

Applying caulk to the cracks in the corner to get it ready to paint. We had to put a small amount of caulk over the countersunk nails.

Applying caulk to the cracks in the corner to get it ready to paint. We had to put a small amount of caulk over the countersunk nails.

Two Problems We Encountered

It wouldn't be a real DIY project if there wasn't a screw up and a fix. In this case we had two.

  1. In the picture below, the left-most arrow points to the distance between the light cover plate and the top rail board. We actually forgot to take into account the thickness of the top rail when we installed the horizontal top board. We got lucky and everything just fit, but it had us worried for a few minutes. Sometimes you just get lucky.
  2. The right-most arrow points to the nails we used to secure the top rail to the horizontal board. They weren't finish nails, and we couldn't countersink them. We had to try to countersink them the best we could. Once the top rail was painted, you can see a small "bump" in the top rail where the nails are not properly countersunk. I'll do better next time!
Arrows point to two potential problem areas.

Arrows point to two potential problem areas.

Time Required

Everything was done in a weekend from Friday afternoon to Sunday. Here are the time estimates:

  • 2–3 hours for planning (My wife loves to look at projects online.)
  • 1 hour for the first coat of paint
  • 4–5 hours to cut and install the horizontal and vertical slats (My wife did most of this. I helped when needed.)
  • 2 hours for final paint and clean up

The final product looks nice, and I think it will add value and enjoyment to our house.

The completed project! Looks good.

The completed project! Looks good.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Doug West

Comments

seethalakshmiRagadesigner on March 21, 2019:

Nice article, Thanks for sharing this kind of information.modular kitchen

Doug West (author) from Missouri on March 18, 2019:

RTalloni:

Thanks. The project was surprising less painful than I expected. Actually kind of fun.

RTalloni on March 18, 2019:

Indeed yes, the final product looks nice, as does your tutorial. Thanks for sharing this method of dressing up your front hall. Viva team projects! :)